New Brownies: aye yo what’s good???
I wanted to take this opportunity to welcome you not only to Rice, but also to the best residential college on campus! I speak on behalf of all of Brown when I say that we are beyond ecstatic to finally get to meet y’alls beautiful faces (seriously though, I’m just gonna say it, the freshman class this year is straight up making the rest of us look like garden gnomes pls can you not).
If you’re anything like me when I was a wee rising freshman, you’re probably feeling a wonderful combination of excitement, fear, wonder, disbelief, anxiety, elation, topped off with upper and lower gastrointestinal discomfort. And as each of those numbers on the right-hand side of the homepage keep ticking down, those feelings just keep getting more and more intense.
But for me, the most profound feeling out of all of them (besides maybe the GI discomfort) was that feeling of uncertainty. What is college going to be like? Will I make friends? What if my roommate and I don’t get along? How am I going to survive without my mom’s food? Do I even know what I want to major in? Do I even like anything? What am I doing? Who am I??
Maybe you’re not asking any of these questions and instead are j chillin’ on some beach in Aruba, in which case, you’re a Felicia and are dismissed. Either way, I know my mind was (still is* oops) reeling with all of these and more. So, in a potentially useless effort to abet your nerves and get you pumped about this crazy new chapter of your life, here are some things that I, along with the rest of Brown, wish people had told us before starting Freshman Year at Rice:
- You will make friends.
SURPRISE! Yes, you’re going to make friends. I know it might be awkward and stressful at first, especially if you’re an introvert like me and social interaction of any kind makes you want to crawl under a table and stay there for the rest of your life. That paired with the stunningly contradictory feeling of FOMO (Fear-Of-Missing-Out for you plebeians upgrade yourself) makes the first couple weeks of college a social adventure, to say the least. O-Week is a crazy time, but you’ll get the opportunity to bond with the people in your group in a way that you might not have been able to do with others before. Beyond your O-Week group, you have all of us at Brown, you’ll have classes with crazy smart and cool people, clubs and extracurriculars where you can pursue your interests outside academics, and so much more. There are 4,000 undergrads on campus, and from a statistical study that I literally just made up right now, the data shows that you’re bound to find someone you click with. Worst case, if you ever need a friend, you can always knock on me and my roommate Saurabh’s door (room 607) and talk about life into the early hours of the morn.
- College is HARD – Trust in yourself
You may or may not have heard this well-known fact, but yeah, college is really, really hard. Yes, you may have graduated Valedictorian from Prestigious Prep School Academy, won the International Presidential Scholarly Wow-You’re-So-Effin-Unbelievably-Smart Award, played a sport 5 seasons a year, and cured cancer while at the same time bringing the entire continent of Africa out of poverty. And you play piano.
But really though, regardless of where you come from and what you did in high school, we know you worked incredibly hard and did really, really well. So did the rest of us. That’s why we’re all here, at Rice. But college isn’t high school, and there will be times where you’ll experience wake-up calls and doubt yourself and your capabilities – whether it pertains to your major, the classes you’re taking, or the people you hang out with. Believe me when I say that this is totally normal – in fact, it’s really the only way you’re going to learn about yourself and who you are. There might be times when you feel like you’re not good enough to be attending the school, but trust me when I say that you are good enough. My attitude towards college admissions is similar to the sentiment of this sloth meme (thank you, Nina), but Rice chose YOU for a reason – they know you’re going to succeed here. You just gotta trust in yourself that you’re going to figure out that reason by the time you graduate. And, in the meantime, your homies here at Brown are always here to help and guide you through it.
- Stay open-minded.
And who’s more open-minded than dis guy amiright ahahahahaha I’m done.
I don’t know about you, but I had a lot of expectations coming into college, one of them being that I would be able to binge-watch Friends without my mom screaming at me to “GO TO BED NOW OR ELSE I WILL LITERALLY THROW MY SHOE AT YOU” (turn up for Indian/Bengali moms yaaasss can I get an amen).
Most of these expectations stemmed from excitement – I was excited about my classes, excited about my major, excited about the friends I was going to make.
And you should be excited!! I’m not saying by any means to let go of those expectations because college has the potential to meet all of them. I’m just saying that if any aspect of your experience here at Brown or at Rice in general deviates from those expectations, don’t stress! It’s entirely possible that you’ll fall in love with your major on the first day, but honestly? It might take you two years (or in Jack’s case, seven) to find the major that suits you. You might find your BFF squad compadres during O-Week, but you might meet your best friends in the most unexpected of places well after your first week of freshman year. The friends you had at the beginning of the year might not be the same ones you have by the end, and that’s totally okay.
Regardless, keep your spirits high, but don’t flip out if things don’t go as expected because chances are, they really won’t and you will be totally fine anyways.
- Keep in touch with your home.
There’s an idea surrounding college that it’s a “Fresh Start,” and in many ways, it certainly is. You’ll have a newfound freedom that you’ve never experienced before, probably miles away from your home and in a completely different part of the country (or a different country altogether). All of this is insanely exciting, and it’s really easy to just throw away the first 18ish years of your life and start over again.
But while “starting over” is a great opportunity to find out more about your interests and passions, it’s not worth completely neglecting your life before coming to Rice. By the time senior year of high school came around, I was dying to get out of the best city on this Earth, a.k.a. Portland, Oregon. But I also made some of my closest friends that year, and leaving them was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. During my freshman year, I had some pretty stressful experiences – academically, socially, and other – and staying in touch with my friends and family from home was an immense relief from all the stress and drama. Their familiarity comforted me, and when I got back home it was really easy to pick back up where we left off.
Definitely stay in touch with home, because when things get overwhelming, they’re going to be your go-to source of comfort and solace.
- Take care of yourself and chillll
Everyone who knows me is going to read that and literally laugh out loud because I’m honestly the most no-chill, closet-dramatic hot royal mess at Brown (and maybe in the U.S. bye). But aside from my shameless hypocrisy, this is probably the most important piece of advice I wish someone had given me before I started freshman year.
The reality is, you are the most important person in your life. You probably had your parents taking care of you for the past 18 years, but now you’re on your own. As exhilarating as that is, that now means that you (and only you) are responsible for yourself. And to be honest, you’re pretty freaking awesome and you deserve to be the healthy, happy person you’re supposed to be. Done with all your work for the night? Chill with your roommate for a bit and then go to sleep! Class at 9:25am? Get up a little early, shower, and eat breakfast. Haven’t washed your sheets in 6 months? Please, please do a load of laundry. Feeling burnt out? Maybe put down that drink for the night, have some water, eat something, and go to bed. The world will still rotate on its axis at 1,040 miles per hour even if you set aside some time to just do you, take care of yourself, and chill out without worrying about what other people think. In fact, the world will probably thank you for it. I know I will.
SOoo now that I have quite literally bored you to tears, I’m going to end with this: College is an incredible time. There are so many things that happen all at once, approximately 1% of which high school actually prepares you for – but that’s totally okay! You’ll figure it out, and as crazy as freshman year is, it’ll be over before you know it and next thing you know, you might be the one slacking off at your internship writing a blog post (I hate myself why do I do this).
On behalf of all of Brown, welcome, and we can’t wait to see you at O-Week!!
Brown Webmaster & Your Resident Life Coach Apparently (y’all are screwed lol)